Legal notiLegal notices - pdfsces - pdfs
Best of Bluff Country
Help wanted display
Submit a classified
Spring Valley city-wide
Submit news & letters
Letter to editor
Submit a Happy Ad
Minnesota Public Radio
Special sections & topics
Lawn and Garden
Spring Valley - Wykoff FFA
Fall Home Improvement
Health & Wellness
Living 50 Plus
Wykoff Fall Fest
Search only accepts letters and numbers.
Bluff Country Reader
Bluff Country News
Bluff Country Videos
The Chatfield News
Chatfield area news
Chatfield football team
In the Schools
In the Schools
Harmony|Mabel|Canton news archive
News-Record obituaries archive
Photo galleries News-Record (archive)
Schools (News-Record) archive
Sports from News-Record (archive)
Columnists in News-Record (archive)
Public notices News-Record (archive)
Letters to the News-Record (archive)
Spring Grove Herald
Sports - High School
Letters to Editor
Sports and Outdoors
Persons & Places series
Spring Valley Tribune
Spring Valley area news
Kingsland school news
SV community links
Tribune public notices
Glimpses of Yesteryear
City-wide rummage sale
Letters to the Tribune
Rushford area news
Editorials and Columns
Letters to the Tri-County Record
Local family opens Racks in Spring Valley
By Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy
Tuesday, June 11, 2013 3:12 AM
Lindsay, Mitchell, Steve, Karla and Ashley Tart, along with Cameron Fenton and Kennedy Fenton, are pleased to welcome diners to Racks, in the former Tootie's Little Rock Saloon. PHOTO BY GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
The Tarts updated the bar area making it a great place to come watch your favorite sports. PHOTO BY GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
Oh, deer - Steve and Karla Tart have antlers on their sign...
And good food to tempt one's ribs.
"We tried to come up with a different name when we bought it, but everybody came back to the name 'Racks,' so that's what we called it," said Steve, co-owner of the new restaurant in Spring Valley, which features a deer buck's head as its logo. The Tarts purchased the former Tootie's Little Rock Saloon from Meredith "Tootie" Foster on April 17, and since they and their children are avid outdoorsmen, the name made sense.
The Tarts - Karla, who works at the Mayo Clinic, and Steve, who farms just outside of Wykoff - had considered buying Tootie's three to four years ago, but they didn't have the time at that point.
"It's more that Karla always wanted to own a bar and grill, and we dealt with Tootie and Jimmy a little, and then Tootie talked with Grafe Auction," said Steve. "We'd shown interest in it in the past, but when she got more serious about selling, we got more serious about buying. We finally quit talking and actually did it."
Having officially opened a week ago on June 5, the staff at Racks is ready to serve patrons. Steve felt "excited...because this is something we've never done before."
As soon as they took possession of the restaurant, they hired contractors to update the bar and give the dining room a new shine. They installed new windows in the lounge, overhauled the bar itself, put in a door to the north, brought in flat screen televisions for both the bar and dining room, repainted the building's exterior, the dining room and bar and put in an entirely new kitchen and handicapped accessible restrooms in an effort to brighten the establishment and make it more efficient and friendlier to customers of all ages.
"We want it to be a family restaurant and bar and grill - try to keep them separated, with one end being the restaurant and the other end being the bar," said Steve. "We wanted a fun place with home cooking, a place that people can hang out at and have a good time."
Karla pointed out, "We eventually will have a patio out on the north side and host beanbag tournaments, and the bingo people are anxious to get back into our dining room."
Steve and Karla have also considered what Racks might do to serve hunters this coming fall, and they might challenge them to "some fun things, like bringing the antlers from the biggest buck," and have installed wi-fi for diners who like to bring their laptops to lunch to continue working.
Racks' menu will feature burgers, appetizers, steaks, ribs, chicken wraps, wings, Windsor pork chops, lunch specials and a children's menu, with "full dining until 9 p.m., and then there'll be bar finger food," according to Steve. The restaurant will serve dinner from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and breakfast from 8 a.m. to noon on Sundays because the rest of the eateries in town offer breakfast during the work week but are closed on Sundays. Jeff Gaulrapp is the kitchen manager, and the Tarts are certain he'll have plenty of tasty ideas to tempt palates, adding that "if it's not on the menu, we're open to suggestions."
The restaurant endeavor is truly a family affair, as their daughters Lindsay and Ashley and son Mitchell will be working at Racks. Steve and Karla are also grateful for the efforts of various members of Steve's extended family who have pitched in to help the family reach opening day, dusting, vacuuming, stocking, moving furniture, doing dishes and more.
The Tarts were hoping to be able to welcome Tootie Foster to the renovated establishment, but she died before the retirement party the Tarts wanted to hold in her honor. Steve observed that the family admired her willingness to contribute to the community through opening her business to organizations that raise funds for school activities, noting that "she'll be missed. Tootie gave a lot to the community and kids, and we'll continue her tradition of good fun and food."
Please fill out the form below to submit a comment.
Message is a required field.
Captcha entry is not valid, please try again.
A comment must be approved by our staff before it will displayed on the website.
Do you favor the Republican health care proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act?
Content 2014 ©
Bluff Country Newspaper Group
(507) 346-7365 •
, All Rights Reserved